READ THE 2016 ALFA ANNUAL REPORT HERE
Founded in 1978, the Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association (ALFA) has successfully represented longline fishermen in securing sustainable access to healthy halibut, sablefish and rockfish stocks.
ALFA spearheaded efforts to eliminate foreign fishing on sablefish and rockfish stocks during the 70s, supported an aggressive rebuilding schedule for depleted sablefish stocks during the 80s, and lead the battle to eliminate trawling from Southeast Alaska waters during the 90s. During the 90s ALFA also supported the implementation of an Individual Quota system for North Pacific halibut and sablefish stocks, successfully campaigning for measures to protect the independent, community-based fleet critical to the economic health of Alaska's coastal communities and, ultimately, the resource on which it depends.
ALFA was instrumental in forming the Halibut Coalition in 1998, an umbrella organization uniting longline fishermen, processors and consumers in protecting longline access to halibut stocks. ALFA continues to actively promote resource and industry health, supporting sustainable fishing quotas and historic access to carefully managed stocks.
ALFA has developed and been a participant in many research projects to address fishery management and ecological issues in the Southeast.
These include helping launch the Southeast Alaska Sperm Whale Avoidance Project, and advancing Electronic Monitoring as an alternative to observers for small boats in Alaska. Other projects, past and present, include developing a voluntary logbook program for sablefish vessels (allowing fisheries data to be incorporated into the sablefish apportionment formula), testing light weight seabird avoidance devices appropriate for small longline vessels, developing low bycatch gear for underutilized rockfish species, developing a real time bycatch reporting network to decrease bycatch in the halibut fishery, and developing identification aids to help processors correctly identify rougheye and shortraker rockfishes.
You don't have to be a longliner to be a part of ALFA's work: we encourage all fishermen and land-dwellers to get in touch and get involved in our efforts to preserve our fisheries and our oceans for future generations.
Executive Director Linda Behnken
Linda Behnken came to Sitka with a strong love of wildness and a vague idea about fishing to earn college money. After one season she was hooked— on fishing, Sitka, and Alaska's wild coast. After earning a Masters from Yale University, Linda took over as ALFA's executive director. Linda now fishes with her husband and their two sons on their 40 foot boat the Woodstock.
Project Coordinator Dan Falvey
Dan Falvey began fishing in Alaska as a long-line deckhand in 1981, and became the owner/operator of his first boat a few years later. Dan has participated in the longline fisheries for halibut, sablefish and rockfish; the dive fisheries for abalone and sea cucumbers; and the troll fisheries for king, coho and chum salmon. He is extensively involved in ALFA’s advocacy and research efforts and was awarded the National Fisherman Magazine’s “Highliner of the Year” award in 2011.
Assistant Executive Director Willow Moore
The 16 years that Willow Moore has spent as a Sitkan have been among the best of her life. Willow spent her childhood dreaming of traveling the world, but after much travel in the States and abroad, she knew Sitka was home as soon as she stepped off the plan and into a kayak. After spending her second day in Sitka fishing for salmon, Willow officially retired her traveling shoes. With vast wilderness to explore, incredible community, and meaningful work, Willow, her husband, Justin, and their children, Kai and Ada, have much to be grateful for. With an educational background in nursing, psychology, non-profit management, and natural resource management, Willow is excited to have joined the Alaska Longline Fishermens' Association (ALFA) team. Before working at ALFA, Willow most recently worked as the Executive Director of Brave Heart Volunteers, and before that ran a white water rafting, kayaking, and backpacking company in Norway. These and many other experiences have given her a deep appreciation for the way so many organizations, businesses, and nonprofits seek to improve the quality of life and sustainability of the regions they serve. Willow is grateful to be part of a team that serves Alaska and Alaskans through collaborative research, advocacy, and innovation.
Office Manager Brooke Schafer
Brooke moved to Sitka in May of 2001 and has spent the last decade and a half exploring the area. She's done this by boot, kayak, wetsuit, and 18 foot Hewescraft, the Hewescraft being the tool that has helped her just begin to dabble in fishing. In 2015 Brooke and her husband, Paul, took three weeks to kayak around Baranof Island, and she now feels like she has a better sense of place when fisherfolk talk about some of the waterways they use for fishing. She's looking forward to decades more of exploring Sitka's surrounding wild woods and waters.
Outreach & Communications Coordinator
Alyssa found her way to Sitka when she moved across the country in search for wider and wilder spaces. She worked with ALFA as part of the Sitka Winter Fellowship program and was able to have her first experience commercial trolling. Her first full fishing season in 2016 was spent deckhanding on the F/V Zaba and running a small Community Supported Fishery with her skipper called the Alaska Salmon CSF. She is so excited to dive back into work with ALFA after a life changing summer at sea!
Advocacy & Outreach Intern
Annie was born and raised in Washington, DC. After graduating high school, she spent four months writing for the local newspaper in Homer, where she fell in love with Alaska – the land and the people. She's passionate about storytelling and plans to pursue a career in journalism, writing about social issues and the relationships between humans and nature. This fall, she'll start her sophomore year at Yale University. Annie's thrilled to be in Sitka, and looks forward to learning about how to encourage and protect sustainable fishing communities – and getting out on the water!
Board of directors
President: Dick Curran, F/V Cherokee
Vice-President: Jeff Farvour, Deckhand Representative
Secretary: Terry Perensovich, Skiff Representative
Treasurer: Stephen Rhoads, F/V Magia
Frank Balovich, F/V Carol D
Richie Davis, F/V West Bank
Steve Fish, F/V Kariel
Norm Pillen, F/V Sherri Marie
Phil Wyman, F/V Archangel
Banner image credit ASMI/Joshua Roper Photography